[urq] Audi urq assembly teams

Phil Payne quattro at isham-research.com
Thu Apr 1 03:07:14 EST 2004

>   This is one superb idea, with Phil involved even
> better. It could be crucial factor in obtaining some
> official support for development of number of mods,
> that not just Urq could benefit from. Like: Cabin
> air filter, under bonnet temperatures, electric's,
> drive train play and vibration, help on present and
> future NLA parts, and other established issues and
> improvements. Karl would a perfect person to help
> validating - development - correction process -
> officiel support, which would help no end in us
> having an official list of valid improvements, which
> could be produced and sold on global level. This
> way, there would be a sufficient number of people
> interested  for small production etc. With even
> small Audi help, this could be made to work wery
> well for us and them.

I had a very interesting discussion with a Porsche manager earlier this week.

I was in Leipzig on a conference and the evening programme included a visit to the Porsche
works where they build the Cayenne and the Carrera GT.  The Cayenne uses a fairly conventional
production line - the tools are automated but the actual assembly operations are performed by
hand.  The standard of cleanliness you have to experience for yourself - mere words cannot
express it.  Seeing the entire engine, transmission and running gear assembly mounted up to
the car in about four minutes is incredible.  The automated wrenches "know" which bolt they're
going to do up from their spatial position and automatically change the driver and reset the
torque.  Amazing.  All the subframe mounting bolts, engine mounts and everything screwed up to
the right torque with the right tool in about a minute and a half.  Quality control is an
individual thing - I saw one "operator" reject a bolt for some reason and stop the line for a
couple of minutes.

But the fun bit was the next line.  They're building just 1500 Carerra GTs - hand assembly on
dollies, just like the ur-quattro.  The person leading the tour described the whole process,
including the final intensive rain test and the 20-minute test drive of each vehicle.  Almost
every word she uttered was also true for the ur-quattro, and I found myself looking at this
assembly facility and realising just why the damn things were so expensive.

Then I managed to have a long chat with an engineer.  I was interested in the differences
between their view of "long life" and mine.  They can take a Carerra round their track for
weeks on end and test wear - but they can't properly test ageing.  I mentioned that our
experience, at 280k miles and 14 years down the line, was different to Audi's predictions -
things such as differential oil changes, crank and cam seal failures because of ozone
exposure, etc.

An interesting discussion.

IMO the Carrera GT is the closest thing to a true ur-quattro successor that I've seen.

  Phil Payne
  +44 7785 302 803

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